Celebrations: the cycle of single-use clutter

Celebrations like Canada Day are a great opportunity for retail businesses to exploit consumers into purchasing single-use items that get tossed at the end of the day, or stuffed into a drawer and possibly used once again. Think of how many disposable items you saw over the long weekend: small Canada flags, cups, plates, napkins, banners, streamers, noisemakers, or cheap jewellery or t-shirts that will only be used or worn once.
These items may brighten up your day, but then they will just get tossed. They are usually cheaply produced, but more expensive than the plain equivalents. Why do you NEED plastic cups with Canada flags on them to be patriotic?
If you decide to take the more frugal approach and choose to keep these items and reuse them next year, there is still the issue that these items are not necessary and are just taking up space in your closet or drawer to be used once a year. If you remember that you have them. Often times they get lost in storage and forgotten. Then repurchased the next year. And so on.
Think of how many single-use items you saw over the weekend. Now think of how many of those ended up in the landfill at the end of the weekend. Is the novelty of these things worth it?
On Canada Day next year, choose instead to do something that benefits the country, doesn’t add to the clutter and trash. Pick up some garbage. Donate blood. Donate to a charity. Support your local economy by purchasing useful items from small businesses. Plant a tree. Walk or bike to places rather than drive. Go to a public fireworks display rather than shooting off your own.
Better choices need to be made in order to preserve our beautiful environment. Canada Day should be a time to celebrate our great nation, and there are many ways we can do this without adding to our own clutter, or the local landfill.












This picture was taken at Regina’s Wascana Centre after this year’s Canada Day celebrations, just one of the many examples of this issue.